Dog Days of Summer
That's why I love low maintenance, drought tolerant plants. Our hosta, coneflower, black-eyed Susan, Russian sage and a variety of hydrangea are currently in bloom. They look beautiful. A nice contrast to our brown burnt grass.
My hosta and Cora Belles are really looking good. Both are prized for their beautiful foliage but I feel their flower is overlooked. It still surprises me how many people prefer to trim them off their hosta. I love all the flowers so we let ours bloom. We trim after the flower is spent and include hosta blooms in our garden bouquets. They make great filler flowers. We have several variety of hosta growing. Their flowers vary in size, color and bloom time. A few are ready to be dead-headed. Two varieties are in bloom right now and we have a late bloomer that will give us large white blossoms into early fall. I really love the dainty purple blossoms on this small-leaf compact variety (below).
Our apple trees are also doing well. The old apple tree is loaded. It was here when Jason bought the property 20 years ago. It looks like we'll be picking apples from our mini-orchard this year too!
Have you noticed the ditch banks are full of beautiful white Queen Anne's Lace? We leave it growing along the property line. When I was a kid I used to pick Queen Anne's Lace and put it in vases filled with water and food coloring. (The flowers will change color as they absorb the food coloring.) I still pick Queen Anne's Lace but now I make jelly with it. Yep, you can make a delicious jelly with Queen Anne's Lace. It has a sweet herbal flavor with a hint of carrot. A yummy taste of summer for your winter toast. And it's free for the picking!
Queen Anne's Lace Jelly
This recipe works well with most edible, sweet smelling flowers and herbs.
Hitting the Bricks
Here's a look at the brick patio project we recently completed. The owner purchased the bricks at an auction. Quite a bargain! We worked together to create an affordable outdoor living space. We chose a simple design for a variety of reasons. Aesthetically, a simple organic design fit the property - a certified organic farm. It was also the most practical approach. Simple designs require fewer cuts which allowed us to save on time and materials. Much less waste! We tried to give the owner the most bang for their bricks and I think we succeeded. The patio is roughly 20x30 and when it was finished we had less than a dozen square bricks left over.